Circus Is not Just for Children! Festival “RE RE Riga!”
The organisers of “RE RE Riga!” selected artists to participate in this year’s festival after observing them perform at many other similar festivals across Europe, whereas indoor performances in the Main and Small Halls of the Riga Congress Centre are a novelty: “These performances will be much more complicated – they must not be hampered by wind, rain or other elements.” However, the organisers emphasise that there will also be a large number of outdoor performances this year, mostly in contemporary circus and street theatre genres, featuring French, Spanish and Nordic artists. “We’ve been representing Riga at various festivals and professional fairs. We were noticed and admitted to various international organisations, which will help us collaborate with Scandinavian, Lithuanian and Estonian producers and artists in the future. For this reason, we have also received the much-needed support from organisations that have put their trust in us,” says Mārtiņš Ķibers.
The festival will open already this Wednesday, the 6th of August, with a performance by the New York musical project “TālaMana” at the Congress Centre, followed by the Swedish duo “Magmanus” show “Attached” at the same venue on the 7th of August. “We’re doing this so those who are not in Riga on Friday and Saturday could also see something at the festival,” adds Mārtiņš Ķibers.
An extensive programme of street performances has been prepared for downtown Riga – the intersection of Kaļķu Street and Vaļņu Street, and the area near the “Laima” clock. For instance, the Norwegian group “Cirka Teater” and Latvian brass band “Auseklītis” will stage a joint performance there:
“The show is about a travelling circus bus meeting a marching brass band. Neither is willing to give way, which results in a show filled with action and fun.”
The public should also follow the festival’s musical performances that, as usual, will take place at the Esplanade with several very interesting concerts on Friday and Saturday. “On Friday, “Kaktiņš un stūrītis”, a Liepāja ensemble that plays very interesting and rhythmic music, will perform there, followed by Edgars Šubrovskis’ latest project, “Manta”. Multimedia artist Mionia from Kuldīga will perform on Saturday night, whereas the festival’s closing concert will be by the Turkish psychedelic music stars “BaBa Zula” in a spectacular performance featuring belly dancers and much more.”
The festival’s main venue on Friday and Saturday will be the square at the Congress Centre. “This is where the Festival Tower will be set up, as well as the festival’s information centre, vendors, bars, cafes… From 5 p.m. every day, various shows and performances will be taking place here non-stop: a new show every thirty minutes by a total of about a hundred artists from fourteen countries. There will be multiple events for children, including circus schools teaching juggling and special master classes by trapeze artists from Quebec, although participants have to sign up for these classes in advance. This year we are closely co-operating with the Riga Circus School Studio, Salaspils Circus School and Daugavpils Circus School, so instructors from these schools could teach children tightrope walking, trapeze acts and much, much more.”
Another key feature of the events at the Congress Centre will be playing the good old “Cirks” (Circus) board game that many people should remember from their childhood. “For this event we asked, via social networks, if someone could lend us the boards and pieces for playing the game, and the response has been overwhelming!”
Mārtiņš Ķibers also mentions with a sense of pride that the Belgian company “PAKI PAYA” with the show “Shake Shake Shake” will perform at the Congress Centre on Saturday evening. “The shows have been arranged so that as many people as possible could see them. Of course, some performances will overlap, but visitors will definitely be able to see very much. If you’re unable to get to the Congress Centre in time, you may go to the said theatrical performance at the “Laima” clock, or the intersection of Kaļķu and Vaļņu Streets where the Dutch street theatre will perform.”
Mārtiņš Ķibers goes on to emphasise, again and again, that contemporary circus is not targeted at children alone as the organisers of the festival saw while attending similar events elsewhere in Europe. “The audience may be made up of seven-year-olds as well as of senior citizens. Because the most important aspect is that each show has a story to tell, and the various circus genres are used to recreate it. This means that there are no language barriers, and every spectator, from kids to adults, can find his or her own philosophical message in the performance. The movement, which originated in Europe in the 1980s, continues to develop – yet not technologically but by demonstrating what one can do with his or her body, inspiration and creativity, combining various disciplines and using simple everyday objects.”
Tickets to the festival’s shows and performances at the Congress Centre are available from “Biļešu serviss” outlets.
A full programme of the festival is available at the “RE RE Riga!” website.